Singer Tanya Stephens doesn’t believe in policing women’s bodies, especially when it comes to cosmetic surgery.
The Fifty artist said she’s sometimes lauded for having a “natural” body, a concept she doesn’t care for, especially having had liposuction, a procedure that removes excess fat from certain areas of the body through a suctioning process.
“Mi do lipo long before it become popular a Jamaica,” she told her Instagram followers recently. “Long time mi do lipo pon mi stomach. Mi never used to have no waist and a doctor create one waist give mi, so, no come to me when unno a disrespect the other female dem weh do dem body. Nuh come to me because mi nuh inna no moral position fi judge them and even if I was, I wouldn’t judge them because mi nav the interest. Mi nuh care.”
She’s also considered getting the excess skin around her eyes removed, a procedure known as blepharoplasty.
“Mi think about it and mi know myself like this and mi nuh know weh mi a go look like when it done, so, mi nuh badda do it, but mi never against it morally.”
The topic was inspired by body-shaming comments she read under a post about an American singer. Stephens was trying to wrap her mind around what authority, if any, some people believe they have on the appearance of others.
“How does it really damage society if one young woman feel like dem waan put in something in dem body?” she asked. “Suppose one woman feel like she waan get breast implants…how does that affect anybody else weh nah share dah breast deh? A nuh fi your woman… She nuh invite you fi touch her… How does it affect you when she go do her breasts? She do her butt? She do lipo? She do whole heap of things… How it affect you to the point where you actually have an opinion?”
She added that there are different conditions that can contribute to body transformation, like having polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis or even taking contraceptive pills. Stephens also showed concern about the possible undermining of someone’s self-confidence should they read disparaging comments about their appearance.
“Then what if dah person deh was one depressed person weh deh pon the brink of jumping, and then somebody come deh a tell dem all dem something deh bout themselves? Why would you want to be the last straw weh bruck dah camel deh back?”
Having gone up and down the scale, she said she’s been met with unsolicited opinions about what looks better.
“If mi put on 100 pounds, yuh nah go hear mi call myself fluffy cause mi a nuh pillow, mi a nuh cloud, and mi nah try mek it look attractive to you. Mi nuh care weh yuh think. Mi nah look yuh… Mi memba when mi did meager and people used to look pon mi weird too and criticise and seh, ‘You need fi put on likkle weight’… Yuh cannot please nobody but yuh damn self, so, please yourself and while you’re out there at it, pleasing yourself, please leave the other people alone.”
In achieving the latter, she suggested finding meaningful ways to occupy oneself, like learning a skill, something she is known for. Her latest do-it-yourself project is the building of a henhouse in her backyard.
“Yuh have space inna yuh backyard? Build one fowl coop…” she proposed. “The time weh yuh deh pon the internet a f**k around people, you a go use dah time deh fi do something productive and progressive and at the end of it, you a go have either egg or chicken fi eat…
“Some a di time dem mi think seh a because yuh nah balance yuh budget good enough and it mek yuh miserable, so, yuh go pon the internet go f**k round people. Look how much things yuh can solve inna one move.”